|todd camplin weekly...
|ART ON HENDERSON
by Todd Camplin
For several years I have judged the Art on Henderson Project, but I haven’t thought much
about what this art is really doing for the community it serves. After all, this project is suppose
to beautiful the street and attract people to visit the neighborhood.
Is this art also changing the area and raising its profile which attracts developers?
How does the community on Henderson see this art venture?
|There has been a bit of an uproar in Los Angeles by activities over art galleries “ruining the
neighborhood” by gentrifying spaces with art. Picking on art galleries for needing cheap
rent might grab headlines, but this argument lacks an understanding of how cities organically
change and grow. Locally, Giovanni Valderas has been questioning the developers in the
DFW area about their gentrifying neighborhoods without creating a space for rooted
residences. But at least, Valderas asking for dialogue. He isn’t point fingers and blaming
people. Change in a city is organic, ebb and flow, a mix between the city planners
visions, the invisible hand of the market, and a even just a few individual choices
can change an area in a city.
|When traveling down North Henderson Avenue, I stopped in at Muse, a salon, where I met with
Todd Faulk, he notices a great deal of change over the years. New construction, restaurants,
and residences have replaced some older buildings. Some empty lots are now under construction.
His clients sometimes spoke about the sculptures and Faulk felt that the sculptures sometimes
seemed to also fit the businesses or spaces where they were installed. But the Pokemon Go
craz seemed to attract the most attention for the sculptures over the summer, because these
objects became notable sites in the game. Faulk saw a positive to sculptures and I got the
impression he was mostly positive about the changes on his street.
|I drove up and down the street looking at pieces, but also I started taking note of the surrounding
area. It gave me pause as I soaked in the art and the environment around the objects.
Sometimes, you can’t see the forest for the trees, and on this occasion I am guilty. The next
time I look at 2017 sculptures, I will have to make note of the surroundings and think about
how it impacts the viewers and those that live with the pieces for two years.
|Individual pieces also had an impact. I stopped at a place called Jakes where I saw the winning
piece by Elizabeth Akamatsu. I talked to a manager, J.P. Miller about what he thought of the art
on the street. He seemed excited about the project and was happy to see the artists having a
get together at Jakes for the instillation of her piece. I also dropped by Planet Blue, a clothing
store, to see third place winner Dasha Wright’s piece. I can’t confirm, but from indications of
Planet Blue sales clerk, more than a few photos have been taken of the piece. I am assuming
of the selfie persuasion.
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